Indies speak out on lack of discoverability and claim new OS favours established studios

The iOS 6 App Store ‘is a disaster’ for developers

The App Store in Apple’s newly released iOS 6 is a disaster for developers and users, it has been claimed.

As discussed on the LightWood Games Blog for developers, Chris Newman and a number of other indies said there were a number of problems on the latest OS, particularly concerning the lack of visibility for new apps.

He explained that there was no longer a “sort by release date” option, with tabs for games searches restricted to paid, free and top grossing.

Newman questioned how small developers and studios could become successful and get noticed on the App Store given that exposure was restricted to options which largely listed the same games.

“For a small developer, this is terrible news,” said Newman.

“Although it’s only for a short period, the ‘new release’ exposure is extremely valuable. It’s our opportunity to grab people’s attention, build the initial user base and gauge the public’s reaction without needing to spend a fortune on marketing.

“The new system only gives exposure to titles that are already in the charts. How does a new app break through? There is absolutely no way of being discovered unless a user is linked to your app directly, or searches for the app by name.”

Newman also criticised how new research results were displayed, highlighting that users could previously quickly flick through five visible apps per page to find a game or app they were looking for.

This has now however been changed to one game per page, slowing down the search process and preventing discoverability of titles on the store.

"This is a massive distortion of exposure towards the already-successful apps,” he said.

“Those that are top of the search results (we assume, although we don’t know, because they are popular) are placed full screen in a user’s face. To get further down the list requires effort. A lot of effort.”

Newman went on to criticise the lack of space available to show a game’s full title, the lack of support for landscape apps and distorted search options, having been recommended bird puzzle” after searching for “word puzzle”.

A number of other developers also commented in agreement, with one developer Katherine suggesting that whilst there is a “New" section hidden away, the apps listed were in fact months old.

“Someone has just pointed out that if you tap Featured, then Categories, then choose something, it has a "New" section, which is all a lie,” she said.

“The items in there aren’t new! In Word Games, Abble Dabble appears 13th and that’s not even been updated since March! It’s just like Google Play, users will think they’re seeing new things, but it’s actually just what Apple wants us to see.”

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